South Iceland Woolweek

photos and information from Maja Siska

Introducting the first ever South Iceland Woolweek – a mostly local and very authentic affair.

With immunisations progressing nicely here in Iceland and borders open to people who are fully vaccinated or recovered, we have decided to hold our first South Iceland Woolweek this Oct. 3rd through 9th, 2021.

We are a large group of local wool women: spinners, knitters, felters, and dyers as well as Uppspuni mini mill and the 30-year-old Thingborg wool coop. The idea came over a cup of coffee: a celebration of Icelandic wool, sheep, and wool processing traditions and crafts. The aim was always to include as many locals as possible: sheep farmers as well as the many local knitters and crafters. And of course to invite anyone who loves wool.

The wool week will start on Sunday, Oct. 3rd with an annual event no sheep farmer in the area wants to miss: the coloured sheep show. This is a unique breeding show organized by local farmers who decided we need to pay more attention to preserving the many colours in the Icelandic sheep. This breeding show uses the normal breeding standard for 50% of its judging and the other 50% are judged on colour: rarity and beauty, as well as wool quality.

In the past 10 years or so, this event has grown from some 20 people coming together to well over 100 people. But it is still the same authentic experience and a lot of fun: homemade cakes (the price for entering a sheep in the competition!) and coffee in the horse stable of a local farm and a judging ring in the riding hall next door. The prize money is a cheap trophy but much more important is the joy and pride to have bred the best colour of its group and to have won it over your neighbour! And as a result the number of coloured sheep and the variety of colours has increased a lot in this area in the past 10 years!

This event is typical for the atmosphere we hope to create during wool week: a truly local affair, only this year you are all invited to join us!

Also on the program are the following events:
Monday Oct. 4th: open house and open sheep stable at the mini mill Uppspuni – demonstration of sheep shearing and mill machinery

Tuesday Oct 5th & Wednesday Oct 6th: wool women around the South of Iceland open up their workshops and mini galleries

Tuesday Oct 5th through Friday Oct. 8th: classes and workshops, teacher´s list on www.ullarvikan.is – detailed schedule of workshops soon to follow

Saturday Oct. 9th: Maker´s market in Thingborg and the spinning competition Ull í fat.

The events for our Woolweek are in a rural area (mostly Selfoss – Hella) and there is no public transport. You can rent a car and do some sightseeing as well as Woolweek activities. The south sports many of the most famous attractions in Iceland, like the Golden Circle and Geysir, the Black Beach, Blue Lagoon and of course the latest volcanic eruption.

There will also be a guided group tour with our local and very experienced guide Petra and a program that combines sightseeing and Woolweek. Petra can also help you organize your self-drive trip: www.klettahlid.is.

Do not hesitate to contact her about travel arrangements or me with anything concerning South Iceland Woolweek: www.skinnhufa.is

I hope to see you in October!

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